“Good Americans, when they die, go to Paris.” – Thomas Gold Appleton quoted by Oliver Wendell Holmes (1858)

“Paris offers so many beauties and pleasures!” – André Léo, The American Colony in Paris in 1867 (1867)

“Paris, the Queen City, only wined and dined, laughed and made love, in its customary insouciant manner” – Mary Crenshaw, An American Lady in Paris (1928)

“The cookery and the manner of living here [Passy], which you know Americans were taught by their former absurd masters to dislike, is more agreeable to me than you can imagine.” John Adams to Abigail Adams, 21 February 1779

“Eating in France was a new body experience” – Janet Flanner, Paris Was Yesterday, 1925-1939 (1972)

“The major revelation, though, would be the food” – Harvey Levenstein, Seductive Journey: American Tourists in France from Jefferson to the Jazz Age (1998)

“The French dine to gratify, we to appease appetite; we demolish a dinner; and they eat it.” – John Sanderson, Sketches of Paris (1838)

“To  suggest that Benjamin Franklin scorned the refinements of the French table would be an insult to his universal curiosity” — Gilbert Chinard, “Benjamin Franklin on the Art of Eating” (1958)

“The French at table wouldn’t discuss anything, except perhaps the food, till after the second helping, when one could begin to think of something else.” — Sylvia Beach, Shakespeare and Company  (1959)

“When I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it” – M.F.K. Fisher, The Gastronomical Me (1941)

“Even to write words like apricot, olives and butter, rice and lemons, oil and almonds, produced assuagement. Later I came to realize that in the England of 1947, those were dirty words that I was  putting down.” – Elizabeth David, An Omelette and a Glass of Wine (1984)

“The primary requisite for writing well about food is a good appetite.” – A. J. Liebling, Between Meals (1986)

“Eat slowly; foolish is the impatient man who gallops through his pleasures in hot haste” – Elizabeth Robins Pennell, The Feasts of Autolycus: The Diary of a Greedy Woman (1896)

“Other emotions and desires are ephemeral, evanescent – so I have been informed. Eating, however – and by that let it be understood that drinking is also included – is a form of pleasurable dalliance which can be indulged again and again.” – Robin Douglas, Well, Let’s Eat (1933)

“The war is going on this war and were were all waiting and the telephone rang, well and it was the Mère Mollard announcing that her quenelles had turned on her, she had ice and she had put them on ice and she had taken them out to look at them and they had turned sour. Well anyway even if there is no food and there is a war and she is not a good cook cooking is important”  – Gertrude Stein, Paris France (1940)

“Before coming to Paris I was interested in food but not in doing any cooking” – Alice B. Toklas, The Cookbook of Alice B. Toklas (1954)

“The design of the following little book is to furnish receipts for a select variety of French dishes, explained and described in such a manner as to make them intelligible for American cooks …. Many dishes have been left out, as useless in a country where provisions are abundant. On this side of the Atlantic all persons in respectable life can obtain better articles of food than sheeps’ tails, calves’ ears, &c. and the preparation of these articles (according to European receipts) is too tedious and complicated to be of any use to the indigent, or to those who can spare but little time for their cookery.” – Eliza Leslie, Domestic French Cookery (1832)

“everything is all right – if I can finish translating this damn recipe for chicken a la Maryland into French.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night (1934)

“I read the menu mimeographed in purple ink and saw that the plat du jour was cassoulet. It made me hungry to read the name.” – Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast (1964)

“To the untrained American ear, ‘cassoulet’ sounded like some kind of unattainable ambrosia.” – Julia Child, My Life in France (2006)

“The gourmet, of course, was the quintessential French flâneur.” – Brooke Blower, Becoming Americans in Paris (2011)

“What more cruel for an unfortunate fellow, with an empty purse, than to pass by the kitchen of a restaurateur, when, pinched by hunger, he has not the means of procuring himself a dinner? His oflactory nerves being still more readily affected when his stomach is empty, far from affording him a pleasing sensation, then serve only to sharpen the torment which he suffers. It is worse than the punishment of Tantalus, who, dying with thirst, could not drink, though up to his chin in water.” — Francis William Blagdon, Paris As It Was and As It Is (1803)

“Now that he was back in Paris, it seemed to him to be fat, haughty, overloaded with food, while surrounded by sadness. He had returned on a bed of vegetables, rolling into town on a huge wave of food that troubled him” – Émile Zola, The Belly of Paris (1873)

“On one corner was the Dôme, which not long ago had been merely a zinc bar with a small terrace. Now it was like the crowded bleachers at an old ball park; the chairs and the tables set in low rows extending as far as the next café, the Coupole. It had an even larger crowded terrace. Opposite the Dôme, on the other corner, was the Rotonde, where painters and a great many Scandinavians used to sit. Beside it, and by the intersecting side street, was a small new café. An intersecting street separated it from the Sélect, which was open all night. We sat at the Coupole. The faces in rows there looked more international, whereas at the Dôme there seemed to be hundreds of recognizable Americans; men and women who, like us, had just got off the boat and were there for a night. Naturally we rejected all these too familiar faces.” — Morley Callaghan, That Summer in Paris (1963)

“Inside the cafés, colour, perfume, taste and delirium could be poured together from one bottle or many bottles, from square, cylindrical, conical, tall, squat, brown, green or crimson bottles – but you drank black coffee by choice believing that Paris itself was sufficient alcohol.” — Malcolm Cowley, Exile’s Return (1934/1951)

“It is by no means imperative to do in Rome as the Romans do, and one need not in Paris drink absinthe or visit the Jardin Mabille.” – Adeline Trafton, An American Girl Abroad (1872)

“If absolute despair, a capacity for reckless abandon and drink, long and heavy spells of ennui which require bottles of strong drink to cure, and a gregarious but not altogether loving nature is ‘a genius for life’, then I have it.” —  Robert McAlmon, Being Geniuses Together (1934)

“Oh, my dear, how too marvellous! I’ve longed all my life to eat a flamingo!” – Compton Mackenzie, Vestal Fire (1927)

“It’s only the bored roué who calls for sauce with his meat” – Tess Slesinger, The Unpossessed (1934)

“When he ate, he ate oysters, and when he drank, he drank champagne, and too much of both, yet he paid no price.” – Geoffrey Wolff on Harry Crosby, Black Sun (1975)

Dinners, soirées, poets, erratic millionaires, painters, translations, lobsters, absinthe, music, promenades, oysters, sherry, aspirin, pictures, Sapphic heiresses, editors, books, sailors. And how!” – Hart Crane, postcard during first visit to Paris (1929)

“I am glad that I was young in a day when people were not so self-conscious as they are now; when they were not such haters of Life and Pleasure …. In those days, too, thinness was not equivalent to spirituality.” – Isadora Duncan, My Life (1927)

“We lived with greater zest than the present generation seems able to do. We had more fun” – Norman Douglas, Looking Back: An Autobiographical Excursion (1933)

“Virtuous people are simply those who have either not been tempted sufficiently, because they live in a vegetative state, or because their purposes are so concentrated in one direction they they have not had the leisure to glance around them.”  – Isadora Duncan, My Life (1927)

“The scandals of Capri, atrocious, unspeakable, amusing, scandals international, cosmopolitan and biblical, flavoured with Yankee twang and the French phrases of the gens du monde” – Joseph Conrad (1905)

“To live in such a place as this, to die in such a place, if ever death could conquer the everlasting joy of such a life!” – Axel Munthe, The Road to San Michele (1929)

Bibliography in Progress

Memoirs and Diaries

Mary Mayo Crenshaw, An American Lady in Paris, 1828-1829: The Diary of Mrs. John Mayo (1927)

Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad (1869)

Adeline Trafton, An American Girl Abroad (1872)

Isadora Duncan, My Life (1927)

Axel Munthe, The Story of San Michele (1929)

Norman Douglas, Looking Back: An Autobiographical Excursion (1933)

Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933)

Gertrude Stein, Paris France (1939)

Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, The Gastronomical Me (1943)

Malcolm Cowley, Exile’s Return (1934/1951)

Sylvia Beach, Shakespeare and Company (1959)

Martin Birnbaum, The Last Romantic: The Story of More Than Half a Century in the World of Art (1960)

Morley Callaghan, That Summer in Paris (1963)

Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast (1964)

Robert McAlmon and Kay Boyle, Being Geniuses Together 1920-1930 (1968)

John Glassco, Memoirs of Montparnasse (1970)

Eva Palmer-Sikelianos, Upward Panic (1993)

Richard Olney, Reflexions (1999)

Shirley Hazzard, Greene on Capri: A Memoir (2000)

Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme My Life in France (2006)


Gilbert Chinard, Benjamin Franklin on the Art of Eating (1958)

Mark Holloway, Norman Douglas: A Biography (1976)

Geoffrey Wolff, Black Sun: The Brief Transit and Violent Eclipse of Harry Crosby (1976)

Artemis Cooper, Writing At the Kitchen Table: The Authorized Biography of Elizabeth David (1999)

Suzanne Rodriguez, Wild Heart: A Life: Natalie Clifford Barney and the Decadence of Literary Paris (2003)

Joan Reardon, Poet of the Appetites: The Lives and Loves of M.F.K. Fisher (2004)


Eliza Leslie, Domestic French Cookery (1832)

Alexandre Dumas, Le Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine (1873)

François Tanty, La Cuisine Française: French Cooking for Every Home (1893)

Jessup Whitehead, The Steward’s Handbook and Guide to Party Catering (1903) 

L. L. McLaren, Pan-Pacific Cook Book (1915)

M. Thérèse Bonney and Louise Bonney, French Cooking for American Kitchens (1929)

Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, How to Cook a Wolf (1943)

James Beard, Paris Cuisine (1952)

Alice B. Toklas, The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook (1954)

Simone Beck, Louise Betholle, and Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking  Volumes I & II (1964)

Food Writing

Elizabeth Robin Pennell Feasts of Autolycus (1900)

Robin Douglas, Well, Let’s Eat (1933)

Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, Serve it Forth (1937)

Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, Consider the Oyster (1941)

Waverly Root, The Food of France (1958)

Elizabeth David, An Omelette and a Glass of Wine (1984)

A. J. Liebling, Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris (1986)

Guide books

Francis William Blagdon, Paris As It Was and As It Is (1803)

A. & W. Galignani, Galignani’s New Paris Guide (1830)

K. Baedeker, Paris and Its Environs Sixth ed. (1878)

Claire De Pratz, France From Within (1912)

Egmont Arens, The Little Book of Greenwich Village (1918)


Henri Murger, The Bohemians of the Latin Quarter: Scenes de la Vie de Bohème (1851)

Émile Zola, The Belly of Paris (1873)

Henry James, The American  (1877)

Norman Douglas, South Wind (1917)

Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises (1926)

Compton Mackenzie, Vestal Fire (1927)

Morley Callaghan, “Now That April’s Here” (1929)

F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night (1934)

Tess Slesinger, The Unpossessed (1934)

Djuna Barnes, Nightwood (1936)

Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado (1958)

Monique Truong, The Book of Salt (2003)


Janet Flanner, Paris Was Yesterday, 1925-1939 (1972)


René Héron de Villefosse, Histoire et Géographie Gourmandes de Paris (1956)

Harvey Levenstein, Seductive Journey: American Tourists in France from Jefferson to the Jazz Age (1998)

Rebecca L. Spang, The Invention of the Restaurant: Paris and Modern Gastronomic Culture (2000)

Brooke Blower Becoming Americans in Paris: Transatlantic Politics and Culture Between the World Wars (2011)

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